Last Updated: October 08, 2021
Arkansas - The Natural State
The state of Arkansas is located towards the Southern part of the U.S. Arkansas is bordered by the states of Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. The capital city of Arkansas is Little Rock which is also the most populous city of the state. The estimated population of the state in the year 2021 is approximately 3 million. Native American tribes such as the Chickasaw, Osage, Quapaw, Caddo, Plum Bayou, and Tunica were the original inhabitants of this region. The state received its statehood in the year 1836, making it the 25th state of the US. The climate in Arkansas is mostly hot and humid, with cool and dry winters. Summers can be extremely hot, and the rainy season in Arkansas can easily bring about floods and thunderstorms. Fall is the ideal time when a lot of visitors choose to visit Arkansas as it mostly stays dry and colorful.
Major Cities in Arkansas
With a population of almost 203,000, Little Rock is the largest city of Arkansas. Founded during the La Salle Expedition in 1682, this is also the capital city of this state. Little Rock is a vibrant city and is also a major industrial and transportation hub. One of the most reputed institutions of higher learning, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is situated here. Some of the most visited tourist attractions in this city are the Old State House Museum, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Arkansas State Capitol, The Old Mill, and so on.
Fort Smith has a population of around 94,000 and is the second-biggest city in Arkansas. The city was founded in 1817 and was named in honor of an American military officer called Thomas Adams Smith. The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a popular educational institution located here. The city is also a major manufacturing center and houses some of the largest companies like Goodyear, Cintas Corporation, Dillard's, Inc., Rheem Manufacturing Company, and so on.
With an estimated population of around 90,000, Fayetteville is the third-largest city in Arkansas. The region was originally inhabited by the native American tribe called the Osage Indians. Situated in Washington County, Fayetteville was established as a city in 1871. The University of Arkansas in this city is said to be the most prestigious institute of higher learning. The city is also a major transportation hub. Some of the popular sites in this city are Fayetteville Farmers' Market, Wilson Park, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, The Arkansas Air & Military Museum, and so on.
The estimated population of Springdale is over 84,000 which makes it the fourth-largest city in Arkansas. Founded in the 1830s, the region was originally known as Shiloh as it was named after the "Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church". It was later renamed Springdale and was established as a city on April 1, 1878. Some of the major attractions in this city are Ozark Highlands Nature Center, Parsons Stadium, Fitzgerald Mountain, Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, and so on.
- The Natural State is said to have a diverse economy. However, agriculture is the predominant economic sector with major products such as rice, soybeans, cotton, wheat, poultry, and feed grains. Arkansas is also the leading producer of rice in the US.
- Forestry is also an important sector that contributes to the state's economy. Because of the abundant forests surrounding various regions within the state, timber production is a major industry.
- Petroleum, natural gas, and coal are chief natural resources. Arkansas is also one of the world's largest producers of bromine.
- As Arkansas has a diverse landscape, one of the biggest industries of the state is tourism.
- Some of the biggest companies in the state of Arkansas are Murphy's Oil, Walmart, Tyson Foods, Tyson Chicken, Dillard’s, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.
- The outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic caused huge losses for various sectors, followed by uneven economic recovery across the state. However, the unemployment rate has been declining from 4.4% in March 2021 to 4.2% in August 2021.
- Major sectors contributing to the economic recovery of the state are trade, government services, healthcare services, and manufacturing.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Arkansas
The cost of living is a lot lower than the national average. Housing costs are incredibly cheap, followed by transportation and healthcare. Some of the most expensive cities in Arkansas are Fayetteville, Conway, North Little Rock, and the capital city of Little Rock. De Queen, Stuttgart, Blytheville, Walnut Ridge, and Berryville are some of the most affordable cities in this state.
Education costs are affordable and the tuition costs are moderate to low in Arkansas, especially for the in-state students (in public institutions). Hendrix College in Conway is probably the only exception of being the most expensive private college in Arkansas. The tuition fee for undergraduates is over $50,000, which is higher than the national average.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
A lot of pupils from across the nation choose to pursue their higher education from the state of Arkansas, especially for a graduate degree. Some of the top universities/colleges in Arkansas are:
- University of Arkansas This is a prestigious public university situated in the city of Fayetteville. The university is highly acclaimed to be the best in almost all aspects such as academics, faculty, campus life, and extracurricular activities. The institution was founded in 1871. It was originally known as Arkansas Industrial University. With around 31,000 students and 1,500 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The university offers over 90 undergraduate majors, over 90 master's degree programs, 36 doctoral programs, and 33 graduate certificate programs. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $11,000 and roughly $28,000 for out-of-state students.
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock Located in the capital city of Little Rock, this is a renowned public university of Arkansas. The college is known for its welcoming environment, student diversity, and great faculty. It was established in 1927 and was originally known as Little Rock Junior College. With about 13,000 students and over 450 teachers, the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. Some of the most popular majors include Nursing, Biology, Liberal Arts and Humanities, Psychology, and Criminal Justice and Safety Studies. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $11,000 and approximately $23,000 for out-of-state students.
- Hendrix College This is a popular private liberal arts college in the city of Conway. It was founded in the year 1876 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The college is known for its vibrant campus, excellent academic quality, and wide range of majors. Some of the most popular majors are Economics, English, and Psychology. With almost 1,300 students and more than 100 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The tuition fee is over $50,000 for all undergraduates and graduates.
- Arkansas State University-Main Campus Situated in the city of Jonesboro, this is a well-known public university. Established in the year 1909 it was originally known as the First District Agricultural School, and the First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. The university is known for its student-centered teaching program, student diversity, high-quality research, and excellent faculty. Nursing, Business Administration, and Education are the most sought-after majors offered in this university. With about 19,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $10,000 and roughly $17,000 for out-of-state students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship: This is a popular need-based scholarship for the students of Arkansas. The basic requirements are to be a resident of Arkansas and pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution on a full-time basis. The student is required to secure a minimum score of 2.5 GPA and maintain the score during college. The student should also secure a minimum ACT score of 19. The award amount for students enrolled at a 4-year institution will be $1000 for the first year, $4000 for the second and the third year, and $5000 for the final year. Students enrolled at a 2-year institution will receive an amount of $1,000 in the first year and $3,000 in the final year.
- Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholarship: This is a merit-based scholarship program for high school seniors planning to pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited Arkansas institute. To be eligible for the program the student must be a legal resident of Arkansas, must be a High school graduate, and must secure a score of 3.50 GPA, and a minimum ACT score of 32 or a minimum SAT score of 1410. For the award to be renewed the student must maintain a minimum score of 3.25 GPA during college. The award amount will be up to $10,000 per academic year.
- Higher Education Opportunities Grant (GO! Opportunities Grant): This is a need-based grant program for the undergraduate students of Arkansas. To be eligible for the program, the student must be a permanent resident of Arkansas, plan to pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in Arkansas, and demonstrate the required level of financial need. The students are also required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) along with the application form. The award amount is $1,000 for full-time students and $500 for part-time students.
Arkansas got its nickname "The Natural State" because of the unparalleled beauty offered by nature. The state is not just rich in natural resources but also its topographical diversity. Arkansas is surrounded by some of the best views of mountains, lakes, streams, valleys, forests, and a lot more. The state's charm reaches its peak during Autumn. Visitors get to enjoy the brilliant colors of Fall with great ease because of the most favorable weather during the season. Some of the best sites worth exploring are Hot Springs National Park, Buffalo National River, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Little Rock Zoo, Mammoth Spring State Park, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, and several others.
Universities & Colleges in Arkansas
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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